Fixed: unidentified network (public) + cabled LAN (home) = no internet?

Basically, whenever I connected my Windows 7 (64-bit) laptop to a local area network (LAN) or wifi router, I noticed that my laptop considered itself to be connected to two networks at once:

  1. the network to which I wanted to connect, showing as a home network
  2. a kind of phantom twin called “Unidentified Network”, showing as public

With the LAN at my office, this didn’t prevent access, though I suspect it was slowing it down, but when I tried connecting to a new router two days ago, there was no internet connection whatsoever.

I discovered that the following had half worked for one user, so I tried it myself and it fixed everything.  Be warned that I am not fully aware of why it worked or what precisely it did, but it had no nasty side-effects for me:

  • Run an “elevated command prompt”
    – Press Start then type “command
    – Wait for “Command Prompt” to appear
    Right-click on Command Prompt, then select “Run as administrator
  • Type the command: netsh int ip reset C:\netsh.log.txt
    – You will be advised to reboot, but do this after the next step
  • Type the command: netsh winsock reset
  • Exit the command prompt by typing: exit
  • Reboot and pray to your chosen divinity

For me this simple solution removed the phantom “Unidentified Network” and restored internet access; hopefully it will do the same for you.  If not, I’m no networking expert so I’m not the man to ask, but there are some more ideas at:

[BTW: if your Windows Defender real-time scan option is on at the same time as Avast or another real-time anti-virus, it may affect your connection speed and overall PC performance; I discovered in passing that this was the case and ditched Defender, resulting in a sudden rise in my wifi speed.  This was before I fixed the cabled LAN problem, but in theory it could also affect that.]

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